CAMDEN — For the fourth time in three years, the mysterious and stealthy Otto the Cat has come forward with a challenge to benefit Camden Area Christian Food Pantry.

For every $1.00 raised by Camden Area Christian Food Pantry between now and Dec. 16, the generous and anonymous benefactor will match it with $2, up to $6,700. CACFP’s goal is to raise $3,350 for a grand total of $10,050.

The Otto Challenge funds will be used to purchase Hannaford Gift Cards which in turn will be given to those in need at the holidays.

“The holidays can be especially hard for those we serve as they struggle to feed their families,” said CACFP Board Member Faith Vautour. “While we don’t know the identity of Otto, we’re so grateful once again for his kind-hearted and generous assistance.”

The initial Otto Challenge provided Hannaford Gift Cards to 45 families in the fall of 2020 while the second challenge benefited 76 families in January and February 2021.

Last December, Otto’s Challenge not only resulted in the purchase of $8,000 of Hannaford Gift Cards for distribution to CACFP clients, but led to other wonderful initiatives.

An anonymous donor who liked the idea of the Hannaford Gift Card campaign contacted the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry and donated $5,000 to be used on gift cards when Otto’s donation ran out while a group at Camden Hills Regional High School gave food baskets to families in need and appropriated $3,000 to the purchase of Hannaford Gift Cards to be included in the baskets.

To participate in this year’s Otto Challenge, go to camdenpantry.org/donate or send a check to the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry, P. O. Box 337, Camden, ME 04843 prior to Dec. 16. Make sure you designate the donation for The Otto Challenge.

Camden Area Christian Food Pantry is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving residents of Appleton, Camden, Hope, Islesboro, Lincolnville, Rockport, Searsmont, Union, Washington, and others in need. CACFP is open Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

To learn more about Camden Area Christian Food Pantry, visit camdenpantry.org or facebook.com/CamdenFoodPantry.